We have a warning for consumers across southern Colorado, fake check scams are on the rise and it all starts with getting an unexpected check in the mail. Fake check fraud is a huge problem, with complaints to consumer groups doubling over the last four years. In all cases, victims deposit a check that appears to be worth thousands of dollars and follow directions to send money back to scammers. The losses can hit hard impacting both young people and seniors.
According to Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker data, in about a three year time frame there's been 5,144 complaints about fake checks nationally. So far this year, consumers report they've lost $372,989 because of them. In some cases the fraudsters will use logos from companies you are familiar with to try to make the check seem legitimate. The goal is to get you to deposit the check and wire a portion of the money back to them. Often these fake checks are tied to lottery and employment scams where the fraudster tells you that you must wire them some of the money from the fake check to pay for supplies or to receive more money in the future. The problem is, the funds are not good on the check and you will be held responsible in addition to losing the money you send to the fraudsters.
For more information on this and to have any of your consumer protection questions answered you can visit https://coag.gov/office-sections/consumer-protection/
If you want to report a scam including a fake check scam you can do so at https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us/